Senator John Sherman (1823-1900).  Did he
belong to a "tort bar"?

Blawgletter has said — at least twice — that we admire the The Wall Street Journal‘s factual reporting and that, for a different reason, we also adore its editorial zaniness.  Today’s page A16 made our adoration all the more fervent.

Celebrating the Baby Bells’ Supreme Court 7-2 victory in Bell Atlantic Co. v. Twombly (post here), the editors opined:  "Score this one for consumers and capitalists against self-styled ‘consumer advocates’ and their tort bar funders."

The WSJ, even before Rupert Murdoch wrests it from the Bancroft family, seems intent on tarring any lawyer who represents any plaintiffs in any kind of case with the same "tort bar" brush.  But if, by tort bar WSJ, means anybody who helps remedy serious wrongdoing, Blawgletter suspects that Republican Senator John Sherman of Ohio, sponsor of what we now call the Sherman Antitrust Act (1890), would accept the epithet as a compliment. 

Antitrust law protects citizens from monopolists as well as from business conspirators who scheme to allocate customer territories, limit supply of goods, and raise prices.  Private individuals who dare to enforce antitrust law undertake enormous risks to vindicate consumer rights against the most powerful corporations in the world.  A group that now, we suppose, includes the corporate owners of the WSJ — and, coming soon, Mr. Murdoch’s gargantuan News Corporation.

Barry Barnett

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